The most important part of any company’s D&I strategy is that it is genuine, effective and it makes a difference. There’s been an influx of company interest in Diversity and Inclusion strategies across the world over the last decade and we’re here to talk about how important HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) are to your D&I strategy plan.
First of all, let’s dig into how important HBCUs are.
In 2018, there were 101 HBCUs; 51 were public institutions and 50 were private nonprofit institutions (source) located in 19 states (the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, too). The percentage of female enrollment at HBCUs increased from 53 percent in fall 1976 to 62 percent in fall 2018. According to The Advocate, HBCUs are blazing the STEM trail with more than 50% of all Black physicians and engineers graduating from HBCUs. They are adequately staffing the workforce, making college accessible and affordable, and they are reminding us that there are still many battles to fight!
Larger companies have been making this move for a while. In late 2019, Disney launched a series of virtual career sessions exclusively for HBCU students which aimed to educate Black students about the possible career opportunities within the company. The biggest goal for the program? To create a pipeline that helps Black students advance within the Disney company.
McKinsey & Co. is actively recruiting from 30 HBCUs and has pledged to double its Black leadership and hiring over the next few years. Joseph Wells, director of masters programs at the Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University says:
“Companies seem to be more interested in developing a relationship with the school long-term, I think some of it is making good on whatever pledges they might have made this summer.”
Because pledging to do something doesn’t mean anything until there’s real action. So, what can your company do to REALLY make a difference for HBCUs:
- Volunteer to work with them through different activities
- Increase your engagement overall
- Look for mentor opportunities to serve HBCUs
So… start a partnership with an HBCU today. Start acting on your D&I strategy. Or, give us a call and we’ll work with your HR team to start building those relationships!